Today’s recipe is a double-whammy celebration treat for Valentine’s Day OR Burns Night. Yes, I’ve been baking shortbread and I can’t believe how easy it has been. In truth, I’ve actually been rather worried about baking shortbread and I’ve put it off over the years, believing it to be a difficult process. And the silly thing is that I love shortbread; it’s my all time, absolute, ultimate, top of the list, number 1 favourite biscuit ever. So why did I get it into my head that it was so difficult to make? I can honestly say it’s no more difficult than making pastry, and I do that all the time.
I decided that I couldn’t put off making shortbread any longer, what with Burns Night coming up this weekend and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. It’s a traditional Scottish delicacy – at least, all the shortbread I’ve enjoyed in my lifetime has come in tartan packaging! – so it’s ideal for enjoying with a cuppa to celebrate Burns Night. As I was cutting out my shortbread biscuits, I decided to make this into a Valentine’s Day post too, so I cut some heart-shaped cookies and decorated them by dipping in melted white chocolate and sprinkling of red sugar. So cute!
Here’s the recipe that I used from the BBC food website:
I started by creaming the butter and sugar together. Actually, my butter had come straight from the fridge so it was super hard and didn’t want to cream with anything. So I softened it a little with a 10 second blast in the microwave and then added the sugar and creamed them together with a fork.
I then tipped in the plain flour and continued to mix with the fork and ended up with a crumbly mixture. I pressed the crumbs together and was surprised when they actually did stick together and turned into a smooth dough. Then it was just a case of rolling out the dough on a floured surface and cutting out the biscuits. Only roll it out to the thickness that you want your biscuits to be, because they don’t puff up at all. What you cut is what you get!
I used a round cutter for my Burn’s Night traditional shortbread and cut the rest of the dough using my heart-shaped cookie cutter for Valentines Day. I put these on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and poked them with a fork before sprinkling a little more caster sugar on top.
The recipe recommends putting the biscuits in the fridge for about 20 minutes before baking so I used this time to pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees and then baked the shortbread for 12 minutes. The recipe gave a time of 15-20 minutes for 1cm thick biscuits but I’d rolled them thinner to about half a centimetre so I knew that they would need less time, and they were just turning golden at the 12 minute mark.
Allow the shortbread to cool, during which time they will become crisp, and enjoy with a cup of tea this weekend as part of your Burn’s Night celebration. Or if you fancy making these for Valentine’s Day, simply dip half of the shortbread hearts into melted chocolate (milk, white, dark, any chocolate is fine with me!) to make a snap ‘n’ share style biscuit to enjoy with your loved ones. Sprinkle on some pink decorative balls if you fancy making your shortbread über-valentiney and wrap them in greaseproof paper to give as a Valentines gift.
Let me know if you have a go at making these shortbread biscuits yourself at home and I’d love to see photos of your foodie creations so please tweet me @Cassiefairy to share your pics.